Foreign Media On Jallikattu And The Backlash Against PETA

NEW DELHI: Thousands of angry young people flocked to the streets on Wednesday in southern India to protest a three-year-old ban on an ancient bull-taming festival that animal rights activists say is cruel.

In a bitter clash that pits cultural traditions against the campaign for animal rights, the annual harvest-related bull-taming sport called Jallikattu has sharply divided Indians in the past week.

The popular ritual traditionally takes places in villages of the southern state of Tamil Nadu in January. But this is the third year that the event has been banned, and many people are now calling for India’s Supreme Court to overturn the prohibition.

On the day of the harvest festival, villages across the state typically conduct competitions where the bulls are tied and kept in an excitable state until doors are opened. As the bulls run out, participants chase them and try to tame them by holding on to their humps for as long as they can. This year, the festival was held on Saturday – most villages complied with the bull-taming ban, but a few defied it.

For the last two days, tens of thousands of protesters have lined up along the roads, public squares and beaches across the state to show their support for the bull-taming festival. Some men even buried themselves neck-deep in beach sands to protest. Students skipped classes in schools and colleges to join the crowds. Several Tamil movie actors and directors have also called for Jallikattu to be revived.

“Jallikattu is our tradition, it is our identity. We will not allow anyone to play with our emotions,” said Manoj Kumar, a college student and protester, said in a phone interview from Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu.

The Times of India newspaper called it a “Tamil Nadu version of the Arab Spring.”

“These bulls are like children in our families, we do not torture them. This is how we play with them,” said C. R. Lakshmi, the spokeswoman for All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the party that is in power in Tamil Nadu. “This festival goes back thousands of years, and this is an integral part of our harvest festival. Women in the ancient tales would say that they would only marry the men who can tame the bulls. Villagers now say there has been a drought in the state because of the ban on Jallikattu.”

The Supreme Court is now considering a number of appeals against the ban by the state officials. Animal welfare groups like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are supporting the ban, saying that the animals are tortured to heighten the excitement of the spectator sport. The court’s verdict is expected soon.

“International groups like PETA do not understand Indian culture. Why don’t they first try to ban bull racing in Spain?” Lakshmi added. (PETA does advocate against bull fights and bull runs around the world.)

India’s law against cruelty to animals lists bull fighting, dog fighting, bull racing and other uses of some animals in performances. In 2011, India’s environment ministry banned the use of bulls in performances across India. In 2014, the Supreme Court said that spectacles like Jallikattu violate the law.

Jallikattu advocates say the sport must be regulated instead of being banned completely.

But animal rights activists say that people had violated many of the regulations stipulated by the court before 2014 and argue that the sport is inherently violent. PETA members have submitted films that showed chili powder being inserted into the nostrils of the bulls, their tails twisted and bitten by participants, and bulls being prodded with sticks and fed with suspected alcohol.

Hundreds of people have been injured and some killed during the sport in recent years.

Many protesters called for a ban on PETA. One prominent politician in Chennai said last week that PETA is an “anti-national” group.

Manilal Valliyate, the Indian director of PETA, said that the country’s law “makes it the mandate of every Indian citizen to have compassion for animals. To stand for kindness is patriotic, to stand for cruelty is un-Indian.” He added that PETA does not make laws, but is “a law-abiding body,” and targeting it is “cheap and ineffective.”

But Valliyate said, “to prevent cruelty to bulls, which is inherent in Jallikattu, ban is the proper, sensible, commonsensical solution.”

Another PETA statement said that the purpose of the annual harvest festival is “to thank the nature and celebrate life, something that can’t be achieved by tormenting bulls and causing human and bull injuries and deaths.”

PETA members have been getting threatening calls and emails from protesters, Valliyate said.

“The spontaneous uproar against the ban shows that people are upset with the court and the national government in Delhi, which they say is trying to portray them as a bunch of villains,” said Nityanand Jayaraman, an environmental activist in Chennai. “There are better ways of addressing such issues without banning them.”

Officials in Tamil Nadu have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring an amendment to animal welfare law in the next session of the national parliament, and introduce an ordinance for “removing the legal impediments” to the sport.

But animal welfare activists wore the mask of bulls this week and protested the move. They held placards in New Delhi this week that said “Please Mr Modi: Stay Strong. Don’t Weaken Bull Protection Laws.” – NDTV.

13 thoughts on “Foreign Media On Jallikattu And The Backlash Against PETA

  • October 20, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  • October 24, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Heya! I realize this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask. Does building a well-established blog like yours take a large amount of work? I am completely new to writing a blog but I do write in my diary every day. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

  • October 30, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Normally I do not read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  • November 2, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I felt amazing to read this info and I believe you are 100 correct. Tell me in case you’re curious about love sayings, that’s my principal competency. I hope to check back with you soon, take good care!

  • November 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    There is perceptibly a bundle to identify about this. I think you made various nice points in features also.

  • November 16, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    I was incredibly pleased to locate this web-site. I wanted to thanks for your time for this superb read!! I unquestionably enjoying each and every small bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post.

  • November 17, 2017 at 3:01 am

    You are entirely right. I really enjoyed reading this article and I will come back for more soon. My own website is about Arvind Pandit, you can look if you are still interested in that.

  • November 18, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Many thanks for sharing this info, I bookmarked the web page. I am also seeking out info regarding download lucky patcher apk, are you aware exactly where I might find one thing such as this? I’ll be back soon!

  • November 23, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I really like the things you people are up to. This kind of clever work and exposure! Continue the fantastic work friends, I have incorporated you to my personal intercom system upgrade NY website.

  • November 24, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    I keep listening to the news update talk about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?

  • November 25, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Good day, I’m really grateful I discovered your blog, I actually encountered you by mistake, while I was searching on Digg for likes for instagram. Anyhow I’m here now and would just love to say thanks a lot for a remarkable article and the all round thrilling website (I furthermore love the design), I don’t have the time to read it entirely at the minute but I have saved it and moreover included your RSS feed, so once I have the time I will be returning to read a lot more. Make sure you do maintain the superb job.

  • November 26, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Our LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) HGV training is based in East London, and our LGV/ HGV courses are taught by qualified DVSA LGV & HGV trainers. LGV was formerly known as HGV, where it used to be referred to as HGV Class 2 (now called LGV Category C) and HGV class 1 (Now called LGV Category C+E).

Comments are closed.